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The first


said, you must be a man as much as you want it


then offered a glass of water


which is to say, have I not baptized you enough?




The second


will know nothing of your face


but of how low your head can bow


how open your mouth can crucify




The third


is Lazarus


speaks only of what he can see


there is no God in that




The fourth


an accent


eyes the shade of Eden


need I remind you how


that chapter ends?




The fifth


a blonde-haired


whiskey


hands like goliath


will toss you


because


he does not believe in your Christ,


but you are still pretty


for a black girl






The sixth


a dancer


will know


he is the age of


Jesus


At the cross


But will still


Make a resurrection


Out of you




The seventh


Will kiss you


Only after


He's allowed his


Righteous


Work to rest


On your face


And your chest




The eighth


Is the driest valley


Of lonely


Your bones has ever


Laid with




The ninth


A Lower-east side


Bar shot


The reason


You do not call home


What has no welcome mat






The tenth


Will ask if you are clean




The eleventh


Will try to unlearn your scripture


Leg by leg


Lip by lip




The twelfth


Is a rooftop


In Brooklyn


Is a bypassing thunderstorm


In Brooklyn


Is a hand-job in Brooklyn




The thirteenth


Is a rusty fence boy


Is a trap door


Is the one who will tell you,


You do not love yourself




13 is the number of men


you've allowed to wound your human


with their horns


It is fornication disguised as forgiveness


which means you swallowed 13 men in two months


when you mistook night for lonely


but it is all blasphemy


it is all reason to forget


your mother gave birth to you under sun and sin


so your throat is just a canal


just an ark


your skin so night


so animal


it is a lust fist


it is the daughter of Delilah you are


and have always been






13 is one more disciple


you've allowed to holy bible spread you


none of them black


they will want to read you


and convince their bodies


it walks on water


but it is all blasphemy




It is one more who has ransacked


your gospel before reading it


Making you another


this is the first time


I've slept with a black girl


miracle.

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